SPARK Program igniting imaginations

Wednesday, 29/06/2022 Posted by: Kate Gilmore

Stuartholme’s SPARK Program has implemented two new initiatives this year as the school strives to make curriculum adjustments for high-ability students.

  1. Extension classes

In Years 7-9 Mathematics and English, one class is made up of high-ability students. The aim of these classes is to compact the curriculum where needed and provide extension opportunities to enable students to work at greater complexity and depth.

  1. Extension programs

In Years 7-9 two extension programs are offered for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and writing. Students, who were selected through an application and interview process, are withdrawn from normal classes once a week to work on a relevant project.

The Year 7 and 8 writing program saw small teams of students design and create a ‘future-orientated’ student newspaper which was entered into the FrontPage competition conducted by the owners of Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Year 9s focus their writing on producing at least two pieces of polished writing at least one of which is entered in external writing.

Year 7 and 8s in the STEAM program worked with an external provider to build their knowledge of Mars and its challenges to human settlement. Students then applied that knowledge to design and create a virtual model of a biomedical space hub for a future Mars settlement.

Year 9 STEAM students worked on designing and building an underwater ROV (Remotely operated vehicle). The students took their device to the pool for its inaugural underwater journey.

The SPARK Program will continue to grow and provide more opportunities for students to expand their interests and explore ideas of what they might like to do in the future.